NJ Homeland Security office investigates potential threats from followers of QAnon
The New Jersey Office of Homeland Security is investigating possible threats from followers of the online conspiracy theory QAnon.
“When you look at what the ultimate aims of those groups are, it is to take out the government. It is to create this new way of governing the country,” says OHS Director Jared Maples.
In the wake of the insurrection at the Capitol on Jan. 6, the federal Department of Homeland Security is warning that anti-government extremists objecting to the presidency of Joe Biden could strike elected officials and government facilities in the next several weeks.
“That threat has been ever-present. It came to a fine point on the 6th and you’re seeing a continued narrative coming from those groups – taking down and bringing down government,” Maples says.
In New Jersey, the state Office of Homeland Security has been warning for months about the threat from right wing groups like the Boogaloo Bois, white supremacists and militia members.
“That threat isn’t going away. It just didn’t disappear on the 6th. It didn’t’ disappear from the overreaching perspective on the 17th or the 20th that were peaceful across the country again, thank God, but that threat is still here,” says Maples.
While protests in state capitals such as Trenton planned for Jan. 17 did not materialize, law enforcement has said some followers of QAnon could be planning attacks for Jan. 31.
“The Q Movement and some of these other ideologies are very big with dates. They always are big with dates and the extremist side,” Maples says. “That 31st date is something we're taking seriously. Again, we have to as a broad threat. There is no specific or credible threat to New Jersey or even America that we've seen. But because we're talking about that day as an uprising day, another uprising day. They've talked about ‘releasing the Kraken’ and all these other threats they've pushed out. We have to take that seriously."
State officials have also said that China, Iran and Russia are using social media to try and amplify the anti-government unrest.